Physical aspects of ergonomic hazards are frequently visible in the workplace. High pressure and uncomfortable postures, as well as their potentially detrimental impacts on employees is more common now that we use so many screens. However, there is another aspect of ergonomics to consider: psychological consequences.
Working is beneficial to one's mental health and personal well-being, and it is frequently linked to one's sense of self, of purpose and even motivation. It can provide structure and purpose, as well as possibilities for skill development and application, social connection, and greater feelings of self-worth.
However, there are times when a job may be detrimental to one's health and well-being. Organizational or human problems such as inadequate work or job design, poor communication, and interpersonal interactions can all contribute to psychological health risks at work.
What is ergonomics?
The study of humans in their working environment is referred to as ergonomics. An ergonomist is a person who creates or changes work to fit the worker, not the other way around. The objective is to eliminate work-related pain and injury risk. In other words, while evaluating a workstation, the employee is prioritized.
Ergonomics is the study of how to construct a working environment that meets people's requirements. From a chair to the design of a building, there are many things that can be adjusted to make a space more comfortable. It's all about creating a work environment that's healthy, safe, and productive. If people think their well-being is being taken care of at work, they will want to work hard and help make the workplace a better place. But, not everyone knows what they need. As the employee becomes more aware of their physical needs, using nutrition, hydration, movement and body scanning, ergonomics makes more sense.
What impact does your workplace have on your mental health?
Workplace stress is quite real. Meeting deadlines, managing colleague relationships, combating workplace bullying, and competing to fulfill the employer's ever-increasing expectations are all enough to make you feel overwhelmed at work. Approximately 92 percent of Americans, according to studies, are stressed at work.
You may believe that the nature of your job is the sole cause of your constant tension and anxiety. While the nature of your job is to blame, it isn't the sole factor impacting your mental health. The workplace environment and ergonomics are also important factors in deteriorating mental health.
The work environment can have a significant impact on your mental health. It's not just about work-related stress or a strained connection with coworkers; your workplace's degree of comfort also plays a significant influence. While there is little you can do to lessen job stress, there is a lot you can do to improve the comfort of your workplace.
How can you improve your mental health through ergonomics?
Now that we all understand the impact of ergonomics on our mental health, we can focus on how we can enhance the ergonomics of our workplace. By enhancing our interaction with the space we work in, we may be able to improve our mental health simultaneously.
Here are some tips on how you can improve your workplace ergonomics:
- Use adjustable-height desks. The height of the employee's workstation should be adjustable. If a small person works at a desk that is excessively tall for them, they are likely to have increased workload stress and potentially injury. Standing desks may also be beneficial, as sitting in the same position all day puts a lot of strain on the spine, causing pain in the lower back, shoulders, and neck. Over time, that physical stress can make employees anxious and irritable, which has an impact on their productivity and length of employment.
- Use ergonomic chairs. Pneumatic seat-pan height adjustment, a backrest that tilts backward and forward, backrest tension control, and lumbar support should all be included in the working chair. Correct posture will be guaranteed, and there will be less unwanted stress on the spine while using this style of chair. Headaches and migraines can be caused by stress and strain on the spine. Consistent headaches and migraines can make it difficult for employees to perform at full capacity and over time that psychological impact can alter personality, workplace fatigue (i.e., attention to detail) and innovation.
- Use ergonomic keyboards. Given that the employees will be sitting in front of a computer all day, it is only appropriate to supply them with a high-quality keyboard. Using an ergonomic keyboard will not only relieve physical pain and discomfort, but it will also aid in the management of anxiety and stress associated with tight deadlines. These keyboards have a unique design that provides enough wrist support and guarantees that your hands are situated at a comfortable distance from one another, reducing wrist and elbow tension.
- Reduce distractions. We all feel more stressed after multiple distractions, whether mindless or appearing urgent. Establish focus time in increments of 15-20 minutes and notice the position of your body during that time. Check in to be sure you are not straining your neck, jaw or holding your breath. As you reduce distractions and experiment with body scanning, mindful ergonomic adjustments are more and more informed thus offering more relief.
Seek help for work-related stress
If you are aware that someone has been dealing with a lot of work-related stress that has been constantly harming their everyday performance at work, at home, or in any activity, Pacific Solstice is here to help.
We provide a variety of stress management options, including coping skills education and individual or group therapy. We recognize the impact of stress on an employee's efficiency and production; therefore, we tailor a treatment plan to each client's specific needs. If the psychological stress has led to insomnia, depression, anxiety or impaired concentration, get a professional opinion.